Moneta Dress Pattern Review

I love my new Moneta dress!  I decided to make mine as a “winter” dress.  I used a medium sweater knit that is super soft to the touch.  I even had a little extra fabric leftover to make another Astoria sweater too.

This was a very simple dress to make and very versatile in regards to the different pattern styles and fabrics you can use.  I made mine over the course of a few days.  I like to split up cutting out the PDF pattern, cutting out the fabric, sewing the bodice then sewing up the skirt which probably amounted to about two and half hours.

My hiccups:

I’m a little cautious with knits.  I inadvertently stretch them out in parts which of course just ruins the overall appearance of the piece.

This slight stretching happened when I was sewing up the collar.  Since it is such a narrow fold it is hard to control how much the presser foot takes causing it to be slightly stretched.  Luckily it’s not too noticeable.

My other hiccup was connecting the elastic.  I wasn’t able to find clear elastic so I bought thin white elastic instead which worked out just as well.  I got a little confused on how to mark the elastic especially when the directions asked to leave a couple inches on each end.


I also wasn’t sure if I should baste it by hand or on the machine.  I tried by hand and that did not go so well so I moved on to my machine which worked very well.

Overall, I love how this dress turned out.  This is a great go-to pattern as advertised!  I think I will be sewing a few more in the future.

Wardrobe Architect – Week 7 & 8

Wardrobe Architect – Week 7: Exploring Solids and Prints

Elements of print

  • Prints vs. solids: What percentage of your wardrobe do you actually want to be comprised of prints? Some people wear prints all the time, for others they’re more of an accent.
    • 33%
  • Scale: Do you tend to prefer large scale prints, small scale, or a mixture of both?
    • I tend to prefer small scale prints.  Sometimes I will go for large scale if there is a lot of empty space in the background or the cut of the piece interests me.
  • Contrast: Do the prints you like use lots of contrasting, bold colors? Or are they more tonal and subdued?
    • The majority are tonal and subdued but I would say every once in awhile I am in the mood for something bold so when a piece of clothing catches my eye I am happy to incorporate it into my wardrobe.
  • Naturalism: Do you feel drawn to flowing, organic, or naturalistic prints? Or are strong, abstract, geometric designs your thing? Or are there versions of both that you love?
    • I am drawn to both whether it be bold stripes or a flowing subdued floral design.
  • Mood: There are hundreds of styles of prints. Are there prints you choose that relate to your 5 style words?
    • I feel like they do. 🙂

Exercise:

  • Examine your favorite clothing. Pick out the 10-20 most worn items in your wardrobe. What percentage of them are printed?
    • About 33% are printed
  • Pick your prints. Write down your most beloved styles of prints. Be sure to look through your closet and your fabric stash.
    • Checks, plaid, stripes, subtle dots, floral, bold stripes, vintage abstract or french novelty prints. Here are pictures of some of my favorite styles of print from my closet.

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Wardrobe Architect – Week 8: Hair, Makeup & Beauty

  1. What hair style has been most flattering and comfortable for you? How did it make you feel about yourself? Did it invoke any of the words you came up with in our core style exercise?
    • I really like a short lob hairstyle.  It was something that I decided to do about 2 years ago but since I only get my haircut once a year it gets long pretty quickly.  It looks nice long but eventually it becomes bottom heavy and hard to work with.  I think it invokes the modern, clean and classic words from the core style exercise.  That is probably why I like that haircut so much. 🙂
  1. How much makeup are you comfortable with? It could be no makeup, or a full face with contouring. Or it could vary day to day.
    • I like sheer foundation with a hint of blush and some mascara.  I tend to go for dewier looks when possible as well.  When I go out with my husband or to an event I like to do eye makeup.  I use the Lorac Pro eye shadow palette.  I don’t wear lipstick.  I hate how it gets everywhere and the constant reapplication.  I usually go for lip balm or a tinted gloss.
  1. How does your makeup and hair reflect your personal style? What do you feel they say about you and your aesthetics?
    • I would say that it reflects my style in that it is very simple and clean which is what I like.  I’m not sure what this really says about me except maybe that I like a classic style.
  1. How much product do you want to own? Do you like collecting products, or would you rather just have a few essentials? How much bathroom clutter are you ok with?
    • I’m a few essentials kinda gal.  I also hate clutter so my vanity has to be clear.
  1. What requirements do you have for the products you buy? Do you stick with all natural products? Are there ingredients you avoid?
    • I just like high quality products that are hypo-allergenic.
  1. What colors feel best near your face? How do they relate to the color palette you created?
    • Muted tones – beige, tan, pinks, metallic rose and dark brown.  I like to use gray, black, deep purple, and deep greens to line my eyes.
  1. What colors never look right near your face? What colors have you tried and given up on before?
    • Probably colors that are too bold unless I use them as an accent.
  1. How much time do you realistically want to spend getting ready in the morning?
    • 10 minutes
  1. What types of scents do you gravitate towards? Do you wear perfume? Other scented products? What do you feel the scents you like communicate about your personality?
    • I like very very light scents.  Typically, I do not buy perfume though.  I always seem to get a headache when I have perfume on especially when I enter an elevator or am in a car.

Exercises:

  • After going through the questions above, add 3-5 images to your style board that reflect your own beauty signatures, or ones you’d like to incorporate.

Here are a few picks from my Pinterest page:

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Sewing Machine Cover Tutorial

Sewing Machine Cover Instructions:

Supplies needed: 1.5 yards of main fabric (iron board cover used in this tutorial), 3 yards bias binding (bias tape), 3 yards of thin piping, interfacing

Measure your sewing machine with measuring tape

  1. Measure height, width and depth
  2. Add one inch for seam allowance
  3. Or use my measurements:
    • Front and Back: 13.5” x 17”
    • Sides and Top (together): 42” x 7”
    • Pockets: 9” x 7”
    • FYI: I made mine very long as a precaution so be prepared to cut around the bottom before you sew the hem for a neater hemline if you use my measurements.

Create a paper pattern using your measurements or draw directly on the wrong side of the fabric

  1. Cut 2 – 13.5” x 17” for Front and Back
  2. Cut 1 – 42” x 7” for the Sides and Top
  3. Cut 2 – 9” x 7” Pockets 

Measure Piping and Bias Binding


  1. Cut 2 – 43” long binding pieces – for sides and top
  2. Cut 2 – 44” long piping pieces – for sides and top
  3. Cut 2 – 8” long binding pieces – for pockets
  4. Cut 2 – 9” long piping – for pockets
  5. Make sure these correspond with your fabric cutouts

Zigzag stitch all raw edges of each fabric piece (not the bias binding)


Measure the length of your sewing machine handle


Measure the Sides and Top piece over your sewing machine (wrong side facing you)


  1. Make sure you have an even amount hanging over each side
  2. Locate your sewing machine handle underneath the fabric
  3. Place a pin on each side for the length of the handle opening
  4. Remove the fabric
  5. On the wrong side of the fabric, mark the center of the fabric widthwise and measure 1 ¼” above the mark and 1 ¼” below the mark 
  6. Mark the pin locations in line with the center mark and measure 1 ¼” above the mark and 1 ¼” below the mark on each side
  7. Connect all the lines to create a rectangle. (Your handle should fit through this opening) 
  8. Draw a line lengthwise in the very center of the rectangle. (You should have two long rectangles now) 
  9. Draw a 1” line from each corner of the large rectangle to the middle line. This should create a triangle on each end of the rectangle 

Interfacing

  1. Cut a piece of interfacing that is 2” larger around the perimeter of the rectangle you drew out on the wrong side of the fabric 
  2. Attach the interfacing to the fabric following the directions for your specific brand/type of interfacing 
  3. Once attached, fold the Sides and Top fabric in half with the right sides facing each other so that the lines of the rectangle you drew are back to back 
  4. Cut through the line to create an opening then cut until you get to the triangle (for both sides) then cut on the diagonal lines to the corners of the rectangle 

Fold open the handle and sew around the perimeter at 3/8” 


Attach piping to bias binding

  1. Press the bias binding open (if store bought)
  2. Fold the piping into the binding and pin closed 
  3. Sew the binding closed making sure that the piping is tightly incased 

Attach piping to pockets

  1. Place piping on the right side of the pocket with raw edges matching and sew
  2. Zigzag stitch raw edges together 

Attach pockets to Sides and Top fabric

  1. Then place piping on top of right side of Pockets and Sides and Top fabric with raw edges matching
  2. Sew piping to fabric (this will connect the pockets to the sides and top fabric)
  3. Zigzag stitch raw edges together 

Attach Front and Back pieces


Make sure your Sides and Top fabric measure around the perimeter of three sides (one long side and two short sides) of your Front and Back pieces

  1. Once lined up, sew the Front and Back pieces to the Sides and Top piece with right sides together pivoting at each corner. I used a zigzag stitch to attach mine.

Hem the bottom

  1. Mine turned out to be a bit long so I had to trim the bottom first before I was able to hem it. I wanted it to have a one-inch hem for appearance.
  2. I used iron board cover on for my cover which is thicker than most fabric. This posed a problem when it came to hem the sides with the pockets because there was too much fabric to fit under the presser foot, even lifted.  Instead, I had to attach the inside by hand with a blind stitch. 

 

 

BBG Fitness and Diet – Week 5

 

I am now in Week 5 of the BBG program and I’m feeling pretty good.  I’ve had to make a few adjustments to the schedule every so often due to vacation and birthdays and work but nonetheless I have gotten through 4 exercises every week.  I can feel myself getting stronger already and being able to endure my full workout.  Things are going well.

In the last week, I have been focusing more on my diet.  I know food plays an important role in how our body feels and I wasn’t feeling my best.  I indulged a little too much in Mexico and ate really poorly over my husband’s birthday weekend.  My body just isn’t able to handle those things as well as it used to unfortunately.  As I mentioned in my first BBG post, I try to eat healthy and for the most part I do but I needed an extra push to get me to make the right decision in every situation.  That extra push was the crummy feeling of over-indulgence.

That being said, I’m experimenting with cutting down on dairy, processed food and red meat. This entails half of my dinner plate as vegetables, one quarter chicken or fish and one quarter starch.  Also, drinking more water and caffeine free herbal tea with raw honey.

Although this has all been working well, something was still off and after a little research I came to the conclusion that I should do a juice cleanse.  I have never done one before so I bought the one-day juice cleanse from Pressed Juicery.  I was a little apprehensive at first but I am so glad I did it.  I feel like it helped reset my system and got me back on track.  I want to do it again next month – maybe even 3 days??

Check out what I had:

9am – Greens 2: apple, celery, cucumber, kale, lemon, parsley, romaine, spinach *Yum

11am – Citrus 2: apple, lemon, mint, pineapple *Sweet

1pm – Greens 3: apple, celery, cucumber, ginger, kale, lemon, parsley, romaine, spinach *Yum

3pm – Roots 3: apple, beet, ginger, lemon *Ginger spice

5pm – Citrus 1: aloe vera, coconut water, cucumber, lemon, pineapple *Subtle

7pm – Vanilla Almond: almond, dates, sea salt, vanilla bean *Yum

Chlorophyll Water – throughout the day

9pm – Aloe Vera Water – before bed

I drank all of this in one day!  I can’t believe it!


*This is NOT a Pressed Juicery promotion.  I have NO affiliation with them.

Color Story – Wardrobe Architect Week 5 & 6

Modern.Elegant.Clean.Confident.Classy

For Week 5, the assignment was to build you color story based on the words you came up with in Week 2, your mood board, current pieces and your fabric stash.  The words above are what I associate with the colors below and inspire my color choices when sewing.

The assignment for Week 6, was to organize your choices as I have done below.  These will be the colors that guide me as I create my new wardrobe. 🙂

Neutralsneutrals

Pastels to Rich Tonespastels-to-rich-tones

Poppop

Assessment:  I knew my color story was going to lean towards neutrals.  After all, my current wardrobe already does and I love it.  Every so often I love to add a feminine tone or something really vibrant.  I am attracted to those colors but I rarely purchase them or sew clothing in those colors because I feel like I will either get bored of them or not be able to wear them as much as I would something in a neutral tone.

I’m excited to see what comes next!  What does your color story lean to? 

Winter in Cabo San Lucas Capsule Wardrobe

 

View from Sur Beach House – Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

Recently, my husband and I had the opportunity to join our friends for a winter getaway in Cabo San Lucas.  We love tropical getaways but this was the first time we traveled to a tropical destination during winter time.  That being said, I spent a bit of time looking at historical weather data and researching appropriate clothing for January in Cabo because I didn’t want to get there and be cold! 🙂

Luckily, our friends got there one day before us and let us know that although it is warm for the most part (mid 70s) we should still bring a sweater and a pair of pants because it gets chilly at night.  That’s not too different from LA although at the time LA was having a crazy rain storm by our standards.  Great timing to getaway although as a born and raised Seattleite I was kind of sad to leave it.  Can’t have everything! 😉

Anyway, we arrived in Cabo San Lucas and the weather was perfect!  Mid 70’s – not too hot in the sun but a perfect temperature under a beach umbrella.  Have a margarita or two at sunset and you’re warm enough to experience the night time chill.  There were no mosquitoes in site either!  Anyway, I brought a variety of things including a couple pairs of shorts, jeans and dresses.  Short sleeve shirts and tanks with some scarves to cover my arms if it got too chilly and of course a couple different hats to protect me from the sun.  While I didn’t photograph everything I wore I put together a Winter Cabo Capsule Wardrobe on Polyvore for those of you who may be wondering … will it be cold in Cabo this winter? (Or any winter for that matter 🙂 )  This is for you- a collection of items you can mix and match on your winter escape:

 

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All pieces mix and match with each item with the exception of the night out jacket, necklace and heels.  For this particular set – use the denim long sleeve shirt with the pink short combo to cover up when it gets cold.  Just roll up the sleeves a bit and tie front ends of the shirt together for a casual beach vibe.

Happy Travels!

Wardrobe Architect – Week 3 & 4

Wardrobe Architect – Week 3

Week 3 is all about determining what shapes make you feel comfortable and happy, and which feel foreign and wrong for you.  I tried not to over think this one as the directions suggest but I can’t say that I think this is entirely accurate as my feelings change about certain shapes depending on the season, where I am going and my mood.  I tried to be all encompassing when rating though so I think this paints a broad picture at the very least.

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Wardrobe Architect – Week 4

Week 4 builds on week 3 in that you use your shapes and ratings and create silhouettes or outfit formulas.  Colette Blog suggests using Polyvore for this exercise.  Here is a peak at a few:

 

Tailored/fitted slacks (natural waistline) + semi-fitted turtleneck pullover + sneakers

I love tailored slacks with a pair of clean sneakers.  I just wish I could wear them to work.  I would have to change them out with a pair of ballet flats or loafers. Honestly though, I would rather have my whole foot covered because I get really cold in the morning so I would need a really nice pair of Chelsea boots or something that doesn’t throw off the look of the pants.  It’s a bit of a tough one.

 

Knitted t-shirt dress (somewhat fitted, mid-thigh length) + scarf + loafers + floppy hat

This is a very versatile outfit for me.  I can wear it to work with a pair of tights and cute boots or running around town or while teaching sewing lessons.  I would probably add a long sleeveless sweater or jean jacket.

 

Jeans (somewhat fitted, natural waistline) + fitted jersey knit top + sneakers

This is my go-to look when I’m just hanging out.  I like a pair of semi-baggy jeans either rolled up or cut off with my Adidas and a cozy shirt.  I would add a floppy hat and my cross-body bag to accessorize.

 

Short sleeve knit blouse (somewhat loose) + Skinny cords (very fitted, high waistline) + long coat (somewhat loose) + thick heel boots

I like this outfit for work or hanging out.  It keeps my ankles and feet warm.  The top is simple but fashionable and the coat will keep me warm but is easy to remove and the outfit will still look cute and comfortable.

 

Silky dress shirt dress (somewhat fitted, mid-thigh length) + tights/leggings + ankle boots

This is another great pick for work.  I like the professionalism of the dress shirt style but love the ease of it being a dress.  It will also keep me warm with thick tights and cute boots.  I can throw a nice coat over this and be on my way.

Wardrobe Architect – Week 2

Wardrobe Architect – Week 2

Defining a Core Style

Goal: Uncover the styles that make you feel like yourself and attach words and images to them.

When you are wearing your favorite clothing, how do you feel?

Answer: I feel confident, poised and beautiful

When you’re wearing something that is not quite right, how do you feel?  What are the feelings you want to avoid about the clothes you wear?

Answer: I feel like I am not myself.  I want to avoid clothing that doesn’t empower me to reach my goals.

Who do you consider to be your style icon(s)?  What is it about them that appeals to you?

Answer:  My mom when she was younger would be my style icon.  She always had really nice elegant pieces and great shoes.  I used to love looking through her closet and stealing her shoes as a kid.  Even today, the pieces that she has passed down to me from her youth are my favorite pieces of clothing.

What are some words that describe styles that you like in theory, but are not quite you?

I like intricate craftsmanship like beading and lace but it’s much too fancy for my look.

Look over your answers from last week on history, philosophy, culture, community, activities, location, and body.  List at least 15 words that you associate with your answers.  Think about descriptive words, moods, and feelings you associate with these things:

Quality, Modern, Neutral, Edge, Juxtaposition, Polished, Classy, Feminine, Clean, Elegant, Craftsmanship, Patience, Invest, Confident, Minimalism.

Look over the answers to all the questions above.  If you had to narrow your list to only 3-4 words to describe you, which words would you choose?

Modern, Elegant, Clean, Confident and Classy

Visual Exercise: Collect 15-20 images that represent these 3-5 words for you.  You could create a pinterest board, a folder on your computer, a mood board, or a collage.  Be creative and have fun!

Answer: Pinterest board below:

wk-2-inpiration

BBG – Take 2

 

What do you think about this workout outfit?  I love exercise clothes… maybe it’s the compression that holds everything in nicely or maybe it’s the everyday ease or maybe I like that they push me to workout.  Who knows?!  This is my exercise sewing dream outfit not necessarily in the cat print although I love the kitties – now just for getting it done. 🙂

Top left: Colette Patterns – Astoria pullover, Right: Colette Patterns – Aries Fitted Athletic Tights, Bottom left: Asics Gel Fit Tempo 2 MT – Love love love these shoes!

Anyway, it has taken me a couple years to really workout regularly.  I started with P90X and did that for about a month and a half then I did 10 minute daily workouts using YouTube videos then back to P90X but the 30 minute version then back to 10 minute videos.  As time went by I hired a personal trainer for 3 months.  That was great!  I loved it and thought I could learn how to work out properly then workout on my own.  Once those three months ended I found BBG – Bikini Body Guide.  I skipped the 4 week pre-training because I had been working out regularly and was in the best shape of my life.  I was about three weeks in when I pulled an intercostal muscle.  I had no choice but to take a break for a few weeks and let it heal.  As much as I wanted and sometimes even tried to start working out again I couldn’t without aggravating it so I stopped working out but I didn’t stop eating right.

Instead, I started to pay more attention to what I eat and dabble into different diets like paleo, vegan, vegetarian or no sugar.  I never dove in completely to any but I would try them for about a week.  It was always tough especially since so many of the foods I love involve meat or seafood or sugar.  I realized that I didn’t want to give everything up and I didn’t want it to be noticeable that I have a certain diet so the best route for me was moderation.  Cut down on sugar, cut down on meat, cut down on fast food and drink more water but don’t deny a good meal when it is offered.

Back to BBG, my muscle finally healed up.  It took longer than expected but then the holidays came and my schedule was a bit crazy.  I wasn’t able to work out and a part of me was discouraged.  My husband who is also my workout partner (even though we don’t follow the same workouts) fell off the wagon with me when I pulled my muscle.  We do almost everything together so even though I encouraged him to work out it just didn’t feel the same.  Soon enough my husband started to realize I was in a funk and kept asking me about working out.  I wasn’t into it but finally he was very direct with me and told me I was not being myself and that I am usually so on top of everything and I need to snap out of it.  He was right.  I wasn’t myself.  I’m a list-maker, I read every day whether it be books or articles, I work out at least 3 times a week, I’m always running errands on my lunch break and making dinner at home and preparing lunch the night before, I even have time for my sewing and working on my business.  I wasn’t doing all of those things and I really needed to be doing those things to get out of my rut.  The next day, I went to work and I wrote my very first list in some time.  I was going to work out.  I was going to start the BBG – this time from pre-training.  So I did it.

I’m on week 1 of BBG after 4 weeks of pre-training and it is kicking my butt.  I am doing the Monday/Wednesday circuit training and the Tuesday/Thursday LISS.  I have a long way to go but I wanted to keep track of that here.  I’m looking forward to it.  I’m also looking forward to more lists, good books, great meals at home, and running my sewing business all the while working full-time.  🙂

Wardrobe Architect – Week 1

img_2917The Wardrobe Architect from Colette is a huge feat.  It’s 14 weeks of discovering your true style and I will admit, I’m definitely intimidated.  In the past couple of months there have been a lot of renovations going on at our place which has forced me to move my clothes and shoes several times.  That makes you realize how much stuff you don’t actually wear or need.  In the attempt to be the architect of my style as well as a climber trying to conquer the wardrobe mountain here is week 1.

I added this fun picture of my cat, Howard.  He is currently in the midst of conquering my wardrobe mountain. 😉

Wardrobe Architect – Week 1:

This week’s focus – Thinking about how we are different and how that affects our aesthetic choices.

History – How has your personal history informed the way you dress?  When did your tastes crystalize?  Have they changed over the years, and why?

Answer: My mother always emphasized that it is important to buy quality clothing.  She taught my sisters and I how to spot high-end fabric and craftsmanship.  She was always willing to spend a little more for a lasting piece.

I’m not sure if my style has crystallized.  I would say I am attracted to neutrals, modern shapes and subtle trends.  I like to look polished and classy but not stuffy.  I want to have a slight edge- something that pops and is exclusively me.  That comes from my former Betsey Johnson/Grunge phase in high school.  I don’t like pops of color as much now as I do a pattern or fabric pop.  I do like things to be wearable in several settings.  This change came from just growing up and wanted to be sophisticated and well put together.

Philosophy – How does your philosophy, spirituality, or religion affect your aesthetics and buying habits?  Or, what aspects of those things would you like to see reflected?

Answer: I don’t like having “things” and I do not get a high from shopping.  I’m very particular in my purchases.  I see something I like and I wait to see if I still like it.  If I do, I may buy it.  If not, I forget about it.  I want that reflected as a minimalist style but not a “simple” style.  I want minimalist pieces that are high quality and high craftsmanship.

Culture – How has your cultural background shaped the way you look?  How did the aesthetics and values you grew up with affect your tastes as you got older?

Answer:  My background shaped the way I look today to not be sold on trends and to highlight what suits my body.  I must wear the clothes, not let them wear me.

Community – How are you influenced by the people around you, including friends, family, and other communities you’re involved in?

Answer: The influence really comes from everyone buying cheap clothing.  It’s so easy and they are so cute.  But then you just buy without thinking about it because the price is so great.  Then there is Pinterest…all the pretty things on Pinterest.  Honestly, its great and has helped me define my style.

Activities – How do your day to day activities influence your choices? / Location – Does the place you live inform the way you dress?  How does climate factor in?

Answer: Even though I live in Southern California I am always cold.  I’m on my way to work before 7AM and it’s chilly.  I take public transit and it’s chilly.  I get to the office and it’s chilly.  I try to keep myself covered up so cold air doesn’t get through by wearing long pants, boots and socks and layers.  During my lunch break, I run errands and often end up too hot so layers are essential.  Staying warm is a big factor in my everyday clothing decisions to the point that it makes my wardrobe boring sometimes.

Body – In what ways does body image affect your choices in clothing?  What clothes make you feel good about the body you live in?  What clothes make you feel uncomfortable or alienated from your body?

Answer: Clothes that make me feel good about my body are those that are tailored to me.  I don’t like ill-fitting clothes or pieces that are too suggestive.  Body image affects my choices in that I don’t want to give people the impression that they should look at certain aspects of my body.  I also do not want my clothes to distort my size or be messy.

On to the next worksheet… 🙂